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Designing your own website has never been easier.

It used to be, that when a business wanted its own website, it had to hire a developer to build one from the ground up, which ended up costing thousands of dollars for many businesses. Luckily, those days are in the past, and there are plenty of affordable options out there, with the most affordable being a DIY website.

The Websites 360® website builder gives businesses a better way to build websites, and best of all, it’s so easy to use that anyone can do it. However, not everyone knows how to get it right.

Having just any website is not enough; you want a website that converts and gets you results, and there are a lot of web design mistakes that you could make along the way that could hinder that potential.

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White space — is it a waste of space or a valuable design tool? It really depends on who you ask. A lot of website owners see it as the former — a missed opportunity for more images, videos, or text that’s left empty for no real reason. But, designers know differently. They know that white space can be an essential tool for creating an effective web design.

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Stock photos are great, but not always the best choice.

Images are an important part of any great website, and when you’re designing your own website, it’s important that you choose the right ones.

Earlier this week, I went over a few tips for finding the right images to use on your websites. One of those tips was that you should tread carefully when using stock photos.

When you’re in desperate need of quality images for your website, stock photos are a great option. However, a cheesy stock photo can be spotted a mile away, so when choosing stock photos, it’s important to choose unique, high-quality images that won’t be found on every other site across the web.

Even better than stock photos, though, are real photos of your business and other original photos. As long as the quality of these images is up to par, they make a much bigger impact than stock photos. But what types of photos should you choose?

#1. Photos of your facility or signage

If you have a brick and mortar location, give potential clients a...

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Not every HVAC website is made equal.

Having a website for your HVAC company opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to marketing your business and getting your name out there. However, it’s important to know that not every HVAC website is made equal.

Anyone can build their own website — especially with Websites 360®’s super easy-to-use website builder — but not everyone knows how to do it well. And the fact of the matter is that, while having any website is better than no website at all, if you want to actually get a return on your investment, you need to figure out how to make it convert and stand out online.

Here are a few tips to help you build an effective HVAC website:

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The images you choose can make or break your website.

Images are an essential part of any website. The simple fact of the matter is that, if people are given the option, most would much rather look at an image than read a paragraph. Images also help to grab the attention of your audience, and they can trigger their emotions, creating more meaningful and memorable connections. In short, images create an atmosphere for your website.

There’s no denying that images are important, but just as important is using them correctly. Just as using the right images can increase the amount of time people spend on your website or how many conversions you get, using the wrong images can have just as much of a negative impact on your website.

Finding the right kind of images is an essential piece of the web design puzzle, and there are a few basic rules to keep in mind when choosing images for your website.

7 Rules for Choosing the Best Images

Rule #1. Don’t overuse stock photos.

Stock photos can be a great option for many businesses that don’t have the time...

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These days, having a website is nonnegotiable for any successful business.

Although businesses vary in how much they actually do online — with some running their business entirely through their website and others using their website to simply inform people about what they do — one thing that all businesses have in common is that they all need a website.

No matter what industry you’re in, how much of your business comes from word of mouth, or how loyal your clients are, you need a way to connect with people online, and the number one way to do that is by having a website.

5 Reasons Having a Website isn’t Optional

#1. Be found where people are looking.

Did you know that search engines are the first stop for 93 percent of all online experiences? And what’s more, almost half of those queries are for local businesses. Whether someone wants to shop for the perfect engagement ring for that special someone or they’re on the hunt for a memorable place to pop the question, chances are, the first place...

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Use the “so what?” test to make sure your content hits on the points your customers care about most.

One of the fundamentals of sales is to focus on benefits instead of features. The classic analogy is that of the drill:

People don’t buy drills to own a drill, they buy them to make holes.

The drill – its fast motor, comfortable handle, and sharp bits – are all product features. In and of themselves, they don’t really have any value.

The benefit is that the drill gives you the ability to make holes in things.

But imagine a person who doesn’t really get why they need to drill holes. If you say to this guy “buy this drill because it makes it easy to drill holes”, he’s going to say “so what”.

You need to take it a step further. He needs to picture himself quickly getting that shelf up – which makes his wife happy and frees up their time. Now owning a drill results in the benefit of an enjoyable weekend.

Getting at the benefits your customers truly care about involves an extra step most businesses don’t take.

Say, for...

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Franchise website redesigns can seem like a daunting task.

After all, it is a lot to take on. There are typically multiple stakeholders (each with their own design preferences), folders full of brand assets, and the pressure to create a website solution that caters to individual franchisees and the brand as a whole. At Websites 360®, we've helped many multi-location businesses own their web presence and have created eye-catching, functional franchisee website templates that can grow as franchisees expand.

Whether you're starting completely from scratch or looking to overhaul your existing franchisee website structure, there are a few key items to keep in mind. Read on to see the top considerations for a successful Franchise website redesign and tips for how to prepare for the redesign process.

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What are the benefits of owning a franchise? When starting a franchise, business owners can run a business that already has an established template for success. They have the power of a strong, established brand, a pre-delivered set of tools to start their business, as well as the peace of mind that comes with a corporate team that is there to help.

The franchise formula has been proven to work. However, many franchises struggle with creating and maintaining the online presence of their locations. Some franchises have one website that has little input from the individual franchisees. Others do not have guidelines for creating websites, which leaves franchisees on their own to build a website that may not work as well as it should. By utilizing a franchise website builder, both franchise owners and franchisees can utilize a website that strikes a balance between brand consistency and individuality.

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Your website has an important job: communicate your brand’s message and get users to convert. How you define a conversion might differ; you might classify a conversion as a direct purchase, or by a user clicking through to another page.

No matter what your ultimate marketing goal is, you want to do everything in your power to make sure your website is doing its job effectively. Have you considered adding video content to help drive conversions? If not, then read on.

Video is not only changing the way websites are built, but also how users interact with websites, browse, convert, and more. The number of people watching videos online only continues to grow. In fact, video is predicted to make up approximately 80 percent of all global traffic by the end of 2019. More people are interacting with brands that create video content consistently, and many consumers now expect to learn about products or services through a brand video. Forty-three percent of consumers...

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